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SECTION 1211
Action by joint tenant, tenant in common or tenant by the entirety for extinguishment of missing co-tenant's estate upon deposit of its v...
Real Property Actions & Proceedings (RPA) CHAPTER 81, ARTICLE 12
§ 1211. Action by joint tenant, tenant in common or tenant by the
entirety for extinguishment of missing co-tenant's estate upon deposit
of its value. 1. Where real property is held by two or more persons in
their own right as tenants in common, joint tenants or tenants by the
entirety and one of such tenants is missing under circumstances which
afford reasonable ground to believe that he is dead, the other tenants
or tenant may maintain an action in the supreme court to obtain a
determination of the value of the estate of the missing co-tenant and a
judgment extinguishing the estate of the missing co-tenant upon payment
into court for his credit of the amount so determined to be the value of
his estate.

Persons known or unknown who are or may be the devisees or
distributees of a missing co-tenant may be joined as defendants in such
action.

2. (a) Service upon the missing co-tenant shall be made in the manner
provided for service in an action in which the complaint demands
judgment that the person to be served be excluded from a vested or
contingent interest in specific real property in this state. In
addition, the court, at any stage of such action, may direct that notice
of the action be published at or near the place where the co-tenant,
when last heard from, was known or believed to be.

(b) The court may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem to
represent the interests of the missing co-tenant, or of persons who are
or may be his devisees or distributees.

3. A finding of reasonable ground to believe that the missing
co-tenant is dead may be made, for purposes of this section, either (a)
upon proof that the co-tenant has been absent from his usual place of
abode for seven successsive years last past, and that a diligent search
has been made to discover evidence that he is living and that no such
evidence has been found, or (b) upon proof of other circumstances from
which the probability that the missing co-tenant is dead may reasonably
be inferred, although the period of his absence is less than seven
years, provided that such period is not less than one year.

4. Relief extinguishing the estate of the missing person shall be
deemed equitable and shall be granted in the discretion of the court.
However, no such relief shall be granted if the court shall find as a
fact that the missing person is dead. In such event, the judgment
dismissing the complaint shall state such determination, but shall not
be deemed an adjudication of death of the missing person for any purpose
other than the dismissal of the complaint and shall not be controlling
in any other action or proceeding, whether or not between the same
parties, in which the fact of death of the missing person is in issue.

5. The finding of reasonable ground to believe that the missing person
is dead shall be made, and the value of the property and of the estate
of the missing co-tenant shall be determined, by the court without a
jury or by a referee.

6. The value of the estates of tenants by the entirety shall be deemed
equal. The proportionate shares of joint tenants and tenants in common
shall be determined in like manner as in an action for partition.

7. Costs of the action, and fees and disbursements of a guardian ad
litem appointed to represent the interests of the missing co-tenant or
his devisees or distributees shall be assessed against the parties in
such proportions as the court shall direct and the part thereof assessed
against the missing person shall be charged against the value of the
estate of the missing person.

8. A judgment extinguishing the estate of the missing co-tenant shall
be conclusive even though the missing person was in fact alive, or was
in fact dead, at the date of the entry thereof, and shall be conclusive
against (a) any person claiming under the missing person by title
accruing or conveyance recorded after the filing of the judgment-roll,
or of the notice of pendency of the action, and (b) any person claiming
under the missing co-tenant who is made a party to the action. The
judgment shall also have like effect as a conveyance made by the missing
co-tenant or by the missing co-tenant and the other co-tenant or
co-tenants, conveying the premises to the co-tenant or co-tenants in
accordance with their interests resulting from the judgment. The court
may direct that an instrument of conveyance in conformity with the
judgment be executed and delivered by the sheriff in the name of the
co-tenant.